Thursday, July 26, 2007

Harvest Time




We are enjoying a wonderful summer - long, hot days reading in the shade, swimming at the local pool, eating outside and keeping the garden watered. We have 2 large water tanks - one collects the rainwater from the greenhouse roof and the other one collects the water from the back roof of the house. This year it has rained regularly so I haven´t had to turn on the tap to water anything. I also collect the cold water from the shower (while I´m waiting for it to warm up) in a bucket and that´s enough to keep our indoor plants watered. The vegetables in the garden are maturing much earlier this year and aswell as eating them fresh, I´ve started stocking up our pantry for winter. I am so grateful for this garden and when we move house that is high on the list of must haves - I would hate to have to buy all my vegetables again and start worrying about pesticides and the long trip a head of salad has behind it before it reaches my local supermarket. For those of you who don´t have a garden, try your local farmer´s market. We have an abundance of green beans, zuchinis and spring onions this year and I spent yesterday afternoon making chutney and zuchini slices with herbs. I think you call chutney relish in the US, it´s a sweet and sour mix of vegetables that you eat with meats or bread or roasted potatoes. Basically, you just use a bit of oil to fry some spring onions and then you add diced zuchini and pieces of green beans(you can make this with almost any other veges too). Add tomato paste or pasta sauce or curry paste aswell as any other herbs and spices that you like and a little salt and pepper. The magic ingredient is cider vinegar (how much depends on how much chutney you´re making. Start with a dash, taste and go on from there)- it gives the chutney a kick. Let the whole lot cook on low for about an hour until it´s thick and saucy and spoon the mixture into clean jars while it´s still hot. It will keep up to 6 months in a cool place, about 3 days after you open the jar. For the zuchini slices, layer slices in jars, add herbs (rosmary or oregano are my favourites) and some mustard seads. Put a mix of cider vinegar and water (1:1) in a pot and boil, add some salt and spices (chilli powder, koriander, anything you have at home). Pour over the zuchinis while hot, about 3/4 of the way up is enough as the zuchinis will lose some liquid. Put the jar lids on tight and place them on the middle oven rack and sterilise at 90°C for 30 minutes. These are great with mozarella cheese and bread or mixed in a salad. I love going to the cellar during the colder months and choosing condiments that I know grew in my garden. Stay tuned for more recipes this week!

5 comments:

daisies said...

glad you are enjoying your summer :) those recipes sound delicious!! i am enjoying my very first garden this year and am amazed at how tasty everything is is :)

Denise said...

Thanks for the recipes.
My garden is looking a little sad since we have not had rain in over month.
I have to water all the time.
PS. In What part of Austria do you live? My husband taught in Salzburg when he was younger.

megg said...

Oh Claudia! Someday I am coming to your house for dinner!!! It sounds lovely there - it's RAINING here and has been since April!! You inspire me - more recipes please!!

Mirre said...

Your summer sounds wonderful!!
Unfortunately, still no summer here...

Mijk said...

I envy your summer! my garden is scorched in april drowned since then and the slugs even got my pototoplants (and they had blight too. I basically gave up this year...